WFEZ
Easy93.jpg
Miami
Broadcast areaMiami metro area
Frequency93.1 MHz (HD Radio)
BrandingEasy 93.1
Programming
FormatSoft AC
HD2: Dance ("Party 93.1 HD2")
Ownership
OwnerCox Media Group
(Cox Radio, LLC)
WEDR, WFLC, WHQT
History
First air date
December 29, 1947 (as WKAT-FM)
Former call signs
WKAT-FM (1947-1971)
WTMI (1971-2001)
WPYM (2002-2005)
WHDR (2005-2010)
Call sign meaning
W F E Z = station name Easy.
Technical information
Facility ID40408
ClassC0
ERP100,000 watts
HAAT307 meters (1,007 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
25°58′2.00″N 80°12′34.00″W / 25.9672222°N 80.2094444°W / 25.9672222; -80.2094444
Links
WebcastListen Live - WFEZ
Listen Live - Party 93.1 HD2
Websiteeasy93.com
party931.com (HD2)

WFEZ (93.1 FM; "Easy 93.1") is a radio station broadcasting a Soft AC format. Licensed to Miami, Florida, United States, the station serves Miami-Dade, Broward, and most of Palm Beach Counties. WFEZ is owned by Cox Media Group.[1] Its studios are located on North 29th Avenue in Hollywood, and the transmitter site is just south of the Miami-Dade/Broward County Line near Northwest 215th Street and State Road 7 in Miami Gardens.

History

Early years, classical era as WTMI, and Dance era as WPYM (1971-2005)

93.1 FM was originally WKAT-FM, which began broadcasting on a full-time basis December 29, 1947.[2]

Later, the station became Classical-formatted WTMI, which began in 1971. For decades, the station also featured popular jazz broadcaster China Valles and his overnight show, "China's Jazz Thing," Monday through Friday.[3] At Noon on December 31, 2001, WTMI flipped to a Dance format and became WPYM, "Party 93.1, South Florida's Pure Dance Channel."[4] The station earned an "Innovators Award" from Billboard magazine in 2002 and a "Best Dance Radio Station Award," at the 2004 Dancestar USA honors.[5]

WHDR "93 Rock" (2005-2010)

WPYM's demise came on February 14, 2005. With decent ratings but poor marketing sales from non-local companies, Cox Radio took advantage of the sudden departure of WZTA (when it flipped from Rock to Hispanic Rhythmic as WMGE) by picking up the Active Rock format and taking the call letters WHDR, and rebranding as "93 Rock".[6] It became a mainstream rock station per Mediabase and Nielsen BDS reports in 2008. For a few years, the station aired Bubba the Love Sponge in mornings, which was syndicated from sister station WHPT in Tampa.

WFEZ "Easy 93.1" (2010-present)

On November 20, 2010, at 7 a.m., due to underwhelming ratings with their Mainstream Rock format, WHDR began stunting with Christmas music, with a new format to debut after the holidays. At Midnight on December 26, 2010, the station flipped to Soft AC as "Easy 93.1". The first song on "Easy" was "Easy" by The Commodores.[7] The following day, WHDR changed call letters to WFEZ to match the new format.

Unlike WPYM and WHDR, the station has become a runaway success. Since 2010, Director of Programming Gary Williams has slowly evolved the station to a slightly more contemporary direction, bringing WFEZ to the top of the ratings in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market. In addition, Williams paired Hispanic radio market veteran Giselle Andres with AC market veteran Jeff Martin for morning drive. The pairing has proved to be quite successful, as WFEZ's morning show is often ranked in the top 5 with adults 25-54 and 18-34. In 2013, WFEZ had the distinct pleasure of being nominated as a Marconi finalist for "AC Station of the Year." With the success of WFEZ, several other radio groups over the past few years have launched their version of the format under the "Easy" or "Breeze" monikers.

In June 2020, new owners Cox/Apollo began consolidating positions within the company. After nearly twenty years with the Miami cluster, Gary Williams exited after his position was eliminated; WHQT programmer Phil Michaels-Trueba assumed programming duties for WFEZ, until September 2021, when another round of budget cuts eliminated the position of sister station WEDR's Program Director, Jill Strada. As a result, Trueba will now oversee WEDR, along with WHQT. Sister station WFLC's Program Director, Ian Richards, assumed programming responsibilities for WFEZ. Since Williams' departure, the format of WFEZ began to change drastically, shifting to a more uptempo and contemporary direction.

WFEZ-HD2: Party 93.1 HD2

On March 24, 2008, Cox relaunched "Party 93.1" on the station's HD2 sub-channel. Like its predecessor, this version of "Party" is also running jockless, but the station's playlist has been broadened significantly, with more music from the trance and house genres. In March 2011, the station, which had only been available on HD Radio within the station's local listening area, began streaming on the internet again for the first time since 2005.[8] As of January 2018, Party 93.1 HD2 is still broadcasting. However, its online stream and social media presence has disappeared.

References

  1. ^ "WFEZ Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  2. ^ "WKAT-FM Begins" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 12, 1948. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  3. ^ "The Jazz Spinner - tribunedigital-sunsentinel". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. 1995-01-22. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  4. ^ "WTMI Becomes Party 93.1 - Format Change Archive". Formatchange.com. 2001-12-31. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  5. ^ "Dance Music". Dancemusic.about.com. 2017-03-06. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  6. ^ "History" (PDF). www.americanradiohistory.com. 2005.
  7. ^ Venta, Lance (2010-12-26). "93 Rocks No More In Miami; Getting Easy". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  8. ^ "HD Radio station guide for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma". Hdradio.com. Retrieved 2018-09-06.